Gerrit Achterberg (poet)

The collection: A virtually complete collection of special copies of the works of the poet Gerrit Achterberg.
Size: More than 100 volumes.
Access: The books can be found in the KB Catalogue. They may be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room and cannot be taken out on loan.
More information: Arno Kuipers 070-3140561 and Paul van Capelleveen 070-3140331

Arie Jac. Dekker en Gerrit Achterberg, Zangen van twee twintigers (1924)

Arie Jac. Dekker en Gerrit Achterberg, Zangen van twee twintigers (1924)

Gerrit Achterberg. Sphinx. Met tekeningen van C.A. Bantzinger (1946)

Gerrit Achterberg. Sphinx. Met tekeningen van C.A. Bantzinger (1946)

Gerrit Achterberg, Cryptogamen (1946)

Gerrit Achterberg, Cryptogamen (1946)

Gerrit Achterberg, Kleine kaballistiek voor kinderen (1984)

Gerrit Achterberg, Voorbij de laatste stad (1955)

Collection profile

The popular poet Gerrit Achterberg (1905-1962) is known as the man who murdered his landlady and who wrote about a lover that passed away. The appreciation of his work started to grow after Bertus Aafjes praised the work in 1946. Contrary to his contemporaries, who experimented with form, Achterberg’s poetry became more and more formal. His theme has been described as ‘You and Death and I’.

He remained popular after his death: in 1963, the Collected Poems appeared, selling tens of thousands of copies. The thirteenth impression was published in 2013. The collection in the KB consists of Achetrberg’s own copies of his books and the copies he gave to his wife, C.J. Achterberg-Van Baak. In addition, it includes books about Gerrit Achterberg, broadside poems and posters.

History of the collection

In her will, Achterberg’s wife left one copy of each of her husband’s books to the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Many of these copies have dedications from the poet to his wife. Achterberg’s debut together with Arie Jac. Dekker, Zangen van twee twintigers from 1924, was not in the original Achterberg collection, but was acquired later, as were posthumous editions of his work.

References

  • Wim Hazeu. Gerrit Achterberg: een biografie. Amsterdam : De Arbeiderspers, 1988, 717 p., [48] p. pl
  • Reinder Storm. 'Gerrit Achterberg in de vitrine'. In: KB Centraal 19 (1990) 7/8, p. 20-21.
  • 'Gerrit Achterberg'. In: Honderd hoogtepunten uit de Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Zwolle: Waanders, 1994, p. 200-201.